Following the Vatican’s 2015 Synod on the Family, a handful of dioceses worldwide have convoked their own local synods to discuss issues in and plans for their local church. These gatherings have been heralded for advancing episcopal collegiality and participation of the laity, parts of Pope Francis’ vision for the church.
But while that may be so, the Synod on the Family was described as a “disappointment” by some LGBT advocates and local synods’ treatment of sexuality has been mixed. It is therefore a live question in the church whether these synods are actually helping LGBT Catholics and their families.
The Archdiocese of Detroit held its “Synod ’16: Unleash the Gospel” last weekend, part of its evangelization efforts in which thousands of Catholics have participated through some 240 Parish Dialogue Gatherings and nights of prayer
Source: Bondings 2.0
sted children have been under fire in the last few years. Conservatives argue that having same-sex individuals for parents have a negative impact in the development of a child. Nevertheless, it seems like scientific research negate this assumption.
Source: Nature World News
So much of the discussion surrounding LGBT issues is in some ways part of a larger discussion in the Church about gender in general. So it is instructive sometimes to take a step back and look at the larger questions about gender.
The topic of gender in the church was put into the spotlight earlier this week when Pope Francis stated that he understood that Pope John Paul II’s ban on women’s ordination was a final statement on the matter. In response to that declaration, Natalia Imperatori-Lee, a professor of religious studies at Manhattan College, New York, penned a blog post on America magazine’s website entitled “It’s Not a Complement: The Pitfalls of a Gendered Theology of the Church.”
Imperatori-Lee uses as her starting point the theology of Hans Urs von Balthasar, who heavily influenced Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI. Her aim is to look not just at gender roles for individual persons, but at how the concept of gender influences the structure of the Church as a whole. Key to this idea is Balthasar’s distinction between what he calls the “Petrine” and the “Marian” dimensions of the Church (relating, respectively to St. Peter and Mary, the Blessed Mother):
Source: Bondings 2.0
Cardinal Walter Kasper of Germany, whose support for allowing divorced and civilly remarried Catholics to return to Communion was a point of reference for the pope’s two Synods of Bishops, says Francis’s document Amoris Laetitia permits “changed pastoral practices.”
MUNICH, Germany – In a recent article for a German journal, Cardinal Walter Kasper – a protagonist for the admission of the divorced-and-civilly remarried to Holy Communion – has written that Amoris laetitia marks a “paradigm shift” that allows for a “changed pastoral practice.”
“There is leeway in the concrete elaboration of the dogmatic principles’ practical pastoral consequences,” the president emeritus of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity wrote in his article for the November 2016 edition of Stimmen der Zeit,, a monthly journal on Christian culture
The Catholic prelate Pope Francis recently appointed both as a cardinal and the head of the Vatican’s new centralized office for laypeople says he considers the pontiff’s apostolic exhortation on family life inspired by the Holy Spirit and plans to make it his department’s guiding document.
Speaking in an NCR interview Thursday, Cardinal-designate Kevin Farrell said he has a hard time understanding why some bishops have reacted negatively to Amoris Laetitia (“The Joy of Love.”)
“I honestly don’t see what and why some bishops seem to think that they have to interpret this document,” said Farrell, the head of the new Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life and who last Sunday was announced as one of 17 prelates selected by Francis to join the church’s elite College of Cardinals.
“I believe that the pope has spoken,” said the cardinal-designate, referring to news last month that Francis wrote a letter praising a group of Argentine bishops who had drafted concrete guidelines about circumstances in which divorced and civilly remarried couples might eventually be allowed to receive Communion.
Source: | National Catholic Reporter
On New Year’s Day 1965, hundreds of gay San Franciscans arrived at 625 Polk Street in the city’s Tenderloin district for a much-anticipated “Mardi Gras Ball.”
The event organized by gay rights — or, to use the then-common term, homophile — activists was not unlike the thousands of public parties being held this June during Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month: There were drinks and music, hand-holding, flirtatious glances and kisses between friends old and new. But it was also a private affair — $5 tickets had to be bought ahead of time — in a city where gay people regularly faced threats and arrests for gathering together and showing affection.
Perhaps the most striking aspect of the San Francisco ball, however, was its purpose beyond merriment: It was held as a fundraiser for pro-gay clergy.
Today, although Americans for and against gay rights cite their r
My life as a gay Catholic man, father, husband and Domer started many years ago being brought up in a traditional middle-class Irish Catholic family in the suburbs of Boston. Both my parents were school teachers who strongly valued hard work ethic, advanced education and bringing their children up in the Catholic religion. My life’s path was to study hard, get into a good college, get married and have children. This was not thrust upon me, just assumed. Does this sound familiar?
While attending Notre Dame back in the mid ’70s, I thoroughly enjoyed attending Mass in the basement of Alumni Hall with my dorm mates. Mass at ND was a true community event that provided time for reflection and a break from the hectic study and social schedule. I truly feel I was spoiled by that experience.
After graduating, I followed the expected path: obtained an MBA, got married, had a child and settled into a “normal” life of working hard and advancing up the corporate ladder. After about eight years of marriage, I began to suspect that something wasn’t right. After much soul searching, I realized I had to be truthful to myself and my family.
Source: The Observer
This, at least, is how I read the doctrine of Protestants as well as of Catholics. The rule and measure of duty is not utility, nor expedience, nor the happiness of the greatest number, nor State convenience, nor fitness, order, and the pulchrum. Conscience is not a long-sighted selfishness, nor a desire to be consistent with oneself; but it is a messenger from Him, who, both in nature and in grace, speaks to us behind a veil, and teaches and rules us by His representatives. Conscience is the aboriginal Vicar of Christ, a prophet in its informations, a monarch in its peremptoriness, a priest in its blessings and anathemas, and, even though the eternal priesthood throughout the Church could cease to be, in it the sacerdotal principle would remain and would have a sway.
Thus, Blessed John Henry Newman in his famous “Letter to the Duke of Norfolk.” The quote captures his brilliance as an essayist, the phrase “a long-sighted selfishness” a masterpiece of communication and construction. But, it does something else: While Newman is keen to differentiate conscience from any kind of subjective whim, the quotes captures the liveliness of conscience and the unmistakable fact that conscience speaks, as it were, inside of our lives. Not in any abstract categorization can it be affirmed or denied.
Source: National Catholic Reporter
“Conscience” is a difficult term; it has an absolutely essential place in our construal of morality, but its place frequently becomes obfuscated by descriptions that are too broad and too narrow, especially when those descriptions are placed in service of social and ecclesiastical power games. Creighton theologians Todd Salzmann and Michael Lawler have written an article in NCR on conscience and Amoris Laetitia which recognizes one side of this problem, but then perpetuates the other side. They contrast two ways of construing conscience. The first sees laws as “outside the subjective conscience. The role of the conscience is to know and apply these norms as a deductive syllogism.” This approach is assigned specifically to Archbishop Chaput. The second “sees conscience as having both the objective and subjective dimensions.” Its subjective dimension involves “having inner knowledge of the moral goodness of the Christian” as created in the image of God and living in a constant relationship with God, while its objective role “gathers as much evidence as possible, consciously weighs and understands the evidence and its implications, and finally makes as honest a judgment as possible that this action is to be done and that action is not.” This approach is assigned to Pope Francis, and is interlaced with (selective) quotations from the documents of Vatican II.
Source: Commonweal Magazine
- Conscience: Still the aboriginal Vicar of Christ, now for adults (National Catholic Reporter)
- Pope Francis on the correct interpretation of the “Amoris Laetitia”… (lastampa.it)
- Pope says divorced and remarried Catholics can in some cases receive Holy Communion (christiantoday.com)
- Catholics are already using their conscience, according to new Pew report (news.queerchurch.com)
What was your dad like when you came out?” When people discover I’m both gay and the son of an Anglican vicar, the Reverend Ian Godfrey, their response is often a predictable variation of this question.
The assumption is, of course, that a devout, spiritual servant of God will at the very least have a few reservations about homosexuality. They’re picturing criticism, rejection, maybe even abandonment.
I empathise with the insinuation. The church’s attitude towards the gay community has never exactly been harmonious, and the institution undoubtedly still has something of a homophobia problem.
The division between the two communities resurfaced at the beginning of the month, when the bishop of Grantham revealed he was in a same-sex relationship. In response, more than a dozen clergy – also in same-sex marriages – signed an open letter urging bishops to show greater inclusivity to the gay community, an act that enraged the more conservative elements of the Anglican church.
Source: The Guardian